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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Application of High Resolution Digital Aerial Photography for Monitoring Ecological Conditions of Texas Seagrass Beds

Authors
item Pulich, JR., Warren - TX STATE UNIV-SAN MARCOS
item Fletcher, Reginald
item Hardigree, Beau - USFWS-CORPUS CHRISTI, TX

Submitted to: Biennial Workshop on Aerial Photography, Videography, and High Resolution Digital Imagery for Resource Assessment Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: December 22, 2005
Publication Date: March 15, 2006
Citation: Pulich, Jr., W., Fletcher, R.S., Hardigree, B. 2006. Application of high resolution digital aerial photography for monitoring ecological conditions of Texas seagrass beds. Biennial Workshop on Aerial Photography, Videography, and High Resolution Digital Imagery for Resource Assessment, Bethesda, Maryland. 2006 CDROM.

Interpretive Summary: Conservation management of seagrass beds along the middle and the lower Texas coast requires broad scale monitoring to assess their status and trend dynamics. In this study, researchers used high resolution color aerial photography subjected to a color space transformation to evaluate spatial changes and to monitor impacts from human activities and natural disturbance processes within a typical seagrass bed located at Redfish Bay, Texas. A map derived with this technique had an overall accuracy of 94.4%. The procedure discussed in this paper should benefit coastal resource managers interested in monitoring broad scale changes in seagrass beds.

Technical Abstract: Seagrasses are submerged vascular plants that dominate the photic zone of estuaries and coastal lagoons along the middle and the lower Texas coast. Conservation management of these valuable coastal wetlands requires broad scale monitoring to assess their status and trend dynamics. Natural resource managers have traditionally used 1:24,000 color aerial photography for mapping seagrass beds. This study explores the application of high resolution color aerial photography (1:9600) and color space transformation (RGB to IHS) to determine spatial changes in seagrass beds and to monitor impacts from human activities and natural disturbance processes. This paper describes the RGB to IHS technique and its use in delineating major landscape indicators (e.g. bare patches and macroalgae) for a typical seagrass bed in Redfish Bay, Texas.

Last Modified: 12/19/2014
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